As motorcyclists from all over western Pennsylvania begin to detail their bikes and prepare for cruising our beautiful open roads this spring and summer, the Erie Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) wants, more than anything, to make their main message and mission this year all about safety. Said one member of the bikers' advocacy group, "I just hope it's not…like last year…a big battered season of injured people."
According to the Erie County Coroner, in 2013, a total of 11 people lost their lives in motorcycle related accidents. Members of Erie County ABATE say that the last four years have been particularly bad. So far this year, there has been one motorcycle-related fatality in Erie. It took place two weeks on Sunday when a 45-year-old man was killed in an accident in Conneautville.
With biking season getting its unofficial start over the next few weeks, it is a bittersweet time for bikers who say they dread Monday morning phone calls detailing tragic events of the past weekend. In addition to preaching motor vehicle driver awareness, advocates for ABATE also say that potholes are a big problem and that it is extremely important that bikers stay aware of road construction problems, as well as drivers in other vehicles around them.
ABATE members want the "biker stigma" out of the minds of Pennsylvania residents. Said one Erie County ABATE member, "Just watch out for us [when] we're on the road…we're someone's brother, father, or son…we've got a family at home…we'd like to get home safe."
Source: WICU, "A.B.A.T.E of Erie Urges Motorists to "Look Twice, Save a Life" 17 April 2014